"Around this time people are starting to panic a little bit," said Amanda Wittig, a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness in Maple Grove.
That panic comes from the realization that the season of tanktops, shorts and swimsuits is upon us. Maple Grove resident Susan Perkins knows that panic all too well.
"I'm one-year out from having cancer, and also both of my parents died within a month of each other last year," Perkins said. "So I really kind of got in a funk emotionally and physically."
Twice a week since March, Wittig has been helping Perkins get out of that funk.
"Susan came to me about six weeks ago and her main goal was to lose 10 pounds, but more importantly, it was weight loss around the midsection," Wittig said.
It's a common goal she hears this time of year, and it requires a well--rounded program.
"If we were to break it down, exercise would be 20 percent and diet would be 80 percent," Wittig said. "Some great options for lunch or dinner can be a salad to get some protein, lots of vegetables for your carbohydrates, and healthy fats through either nuts and seeds, or maybe an olive oil based dressing."
But besides focusing on food, she recommends an exercise program that includes cardio and strength training.
"If you're focusing on weight loss, if you put in three to four cardio sessions a week, plus two, total--body strength training programs, you may double up on one of those days, but you definitely want one day of rest," Wittig recommended.
Perkins has stayed true to that diet and exercise regimen these past six weeks.
"Not only has this been just a six--week change, it's also a lifestyle change for me," Perkins said.
Now, Wittig considers her as a full--fledged success story.
"I've lost weight, most importantly, I've lost inches around my waist," Perkins said. "It's fabulous. My clothes fit better. My skirts go on really nice, so it's great."
To slim down for the summer, personal trainers recommend the following: 1) Nutrition: * Cut out processed foods/sugars * Eat protein at every meal with plenty of veggies and some fruits * Limit starches * drink 1/2 body weight in ounces * Take a multivitamin & fish oil every day. * If desired, cut gulten, dairy, and soy to eliminate inflammatory foods.
2) Exercise: * Focus on a well-rounded program that includes cardio and strength training. * Cardio -- plenty of fat burning plus interval workouts * Use heart rate monitor to track intensity and fat burning * Strength -- 2-3 times a week of a total body program * Work with a trainer for appropriate program design for your fitness level * Recover/mind body -- pilates, yoga, sauna, etc.
3) Sleep: * 7-8 solid hours each night for recovery, repair, and an optimal metabolism
4) Movement: * 10,000 steps a day to be considered active
5) Mindset: *Make sure you are ready for change * You can hire as many coaches and trainers you want, but if you are not willing to do the work, you will not get results
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